Snake charmers used to be a fixture at markets and festivals in India and other Asian nations in the 20th century, entertaining crowds with their seeming ability to control some of the world's most dangerous reptiles. A turbaned charmer would pretend to hypnotize a snake by playing a flute-like instrument called a pungi or bansuri. The snake would appear to dance in response to the music. But herpetologists say snakes can’t hear sounds in the same frequency range as humans, and that their “dance” was likely a reaction to the movement of the instrument.
Music stops for a tradition: